How to Snorkel: A Beginner’s Guide With Everything to Know

Your life has gotten a little stale. Now, you’re looking for a new hobby to help freshen things up a bit. While you’ve come up with a number of different ideas, you seem to have landed on one idea, in particular: snorkeling. 

The only trouble, of course, is that you’ve never snorkeled a day in your life. As such, you don’t even know how to get started. 

Fortunately, we do. So, without further ado, here is how to snorkel. 

Equipment Needed for Snorkeling

In order to snorkel successfully, you’ll need a variety of equipment. This includes the following basic items. 

A Snorkel

As you might expect, in order to go snorkeling, you’ll need a snorkel. However, you shouldn’t just use the first snorkel you see. You need to do your research and find the right one.

Snorkels come in a wide variety of materials and provide a wide variety of functionalities. Whereas the cheapest snorkels are made of flimsy plastic and can let in water, the most expensive of snorkels are made of durable plastic and keep water out entirely. 

If you’re looking for the best of the best, look for a dry snorkel, in particular. These are a little more expensive but will heighten your experience substantially. 

A Mask

Part of the fun of snorkeling is seeing what lies beneath the water. Of course, to see what lies below over a prolonged period of time, you’ll need eye protection of some kind. 

While you could make do with goggles, you wouldn’t be able to breathe through your nose. This is why you should opt for a snorkeling mask. 

There are two types of snorkeling masks: full-face snorkeling masks and half-face snorkeling masks. Full-face snorkeling masks have snorkels built into them. Half-face snorkeling masks are built independently of snorkels. 

The type you choose comes down entirely to personal preference. But, regardless, make sure that the mask seals water out entirely.


While it’s certainly possible to go snorkeling without the use of fins, you will eventually come to find that fins can greatly enhance the experience. This is particularly true if you’re swimming long distances. 

Fins add length and surface area to your feet, allowing you to obtain increased distance with each stroke of your leg. In effect, they turn you into a frog or a platypus. 

You can buy snorkeling fins for as cheap as $15 or as expensive as $100. When you’re first starting out, cheap fins should suffice. But if you’re spending a lot of time in lakes or the ocean, you might want to splurge for a more expensive pair. 

A Wetsuit

If the water is particularly chilly, you might consider throwing on a wetsuit. Wetsuits operate based on the laws of thermodynamics, trapping heat against the body so that it’s preserved in cold conditions. 

If it’s on the warmer side, you might opt for a shorty wetsuit. These cover only half of the body. If it’s on the colder side, a full wetsuit is recommended. 

How to Snorkel: Quick Tips

Once you’ve gathered the necessary equipment, you can hit the water. While it’s ideal to go snorkeling in a lake or the ocean, you could gain valuable experience by practicing in a pool. 

Once you’ve made it to the water’s edge, put on your gear. Make sure that your mask and fins are snug-fitting and that you’re comfortable with the positioning of your snorkel. 

Then, wade into the water until it meets your chest. At this point, dip your head down into the water, ensuring that the snorkel stays above the surface. Flatten out your body so as to optimize your buoyancy. 

At this point, you should be able to see below the surface of the water. Now is when you need to start thinking about your breathing. 

Try your best to breathe normally, taking shallow, relaxed, fully-drawn breaths. Once you’re comfortable with the way you’re breathing, you can start to move. 

Swimming while snorkeling should be smooth and relaxed. You should move your legs slowly so as to keep splashing to a minimum. In truth, there’s no reason to use your arms at all. 

And, in general, that’s it. Float slowly from place to place and see what you can discover. If need be, come up for air every once in a while. 

Tips for Snorkeling

We’ve reviewed the basics of snorkeling. You have the gist of it. However, to heighten your experience, you should consider utilizing the following tips.  

Take in Your Surroundings Before Hitting the Water

First and foremost, you should take in your surroundings. By gaining an understanding of your surroundings before you hit the water, you increase your level of safety and give yourself an idea as to where you should travel. 

If you can, speak to locals about potential dangers. Also, inquire as to any particularly great snorkeling spots. If you’re in a popular snorkeling location, the locals should have tons of information for you. 

Keep Your Hands to Yourself

When snorkeling, you’re bound to come across some pretty cool stuff. However, regardless of how cool it is, you’re advised to keep your hands off of it. Not only could your touch cause it harm, but it could harm you as well. 

Snorkel With Others

It’s simple as this: snorkeling alone is dangerous. Anything could happen while you’re out there, and if you don’t have someone to look after you, you risk drowning. Make sure to bring a buddy with you.

On the Search for Similar Information?

And there it is, that’s how to snorkel. As long as you buy (or rent) the necessary equipment and follow the instructions discussed above, you should be good to go. 

On the search for similar information? Our website has you covered. Take a gander at our other articles now!

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